Current COVID-19 Visitor Policies

Everyone at Vanderbilt Health is committed to keeping our patients, visitors, doctors, nurses and other safe.

We value the important role that support by loved ones plays in healing and recovery. Restricting visitation during this pandemic remains one of the most difficult decisions we've had to make.

We're welcoming family and significant others where it is safe to do so. Please help us to this by following all precautions we outline below for all our hospitals in Nashville, Lebanon, Shelbyville, Tullahoma and in our clinics across the region.

These policies are in place for everyone, including those who have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

At All Locations

  • Masks are required for everyone inside patient care areas, including all hospitals and clinics. This is true even if you've been vaccinated. While vaccination rates have increased, the CDC continues to recommend mask-wearing in healthcare facilities to protect vulnerable patients and visitors.
  • You shouldn't visit a patient or accompany them to a clinic appointment or procedure if you have a fever or other symptoms of illness. This is the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic. Our patients are relying on everyone to be honest and conscientious about this.
  • At some locations, we have infrared screening devices to check individuals for fever as they enter.

Note that visiting hours and other details may differ by location. Please discuss visiting hours and details with hospital staff. Below, you'll see specific restrictions by location.

    • 2 visitors may be in a patient's room, including the Intensive Care Units, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. With the exception of the Emergency and Trauma departments, 1 visitor may be age 12 or older if accompanied by an adult (age 18 or older).
    • 1 adult visitor (age 18 or older) may be in the patient's room after 9 p.m. and overnight.
    • Up to 4 adult visitors may be present if the care team has determined the patient is nearing the end of their life.
    • Each patient in our Emergency Department may have 1 adult (age 18 or older) with them because of space limitations.
    • Visitors may swap off with each other. To prevent overcrowding in waiting areas, "visitor exchange" must occur outside the hospital.
    • 1 adult visitor (age 18 or older) may be in a COVID-19 patient room between the hours of 1p.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors must wear appropriate PPE for the duration of their visit.
    • See below for specific information for labor and delivery.

    Updated Nov. 30, 2021.

  • In the Children's Hospital (including COVID Units and Emergency Department) 

    • When your child is admitted, you will select 2 parent-approved visitors (PAVs) who may stay with your child. Only those 2 people may visit.
    • PAVs in the hospital will receive wristbands to identify them. PAVs in the Emergency Department will get stickers for identification.
    • The PAVs must be screened daily for fever or other symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.
    • They also must always wear masks, and visitation may be ended if masks are not worn.
    • PAVs must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when they enter or leave the patient room.
    • PAVs must maintain physical distancing (6 feet apart).
    • PAVs must remain in the room, with only 1 going to get food, for instance.
    • PAVs who stay overnight should arrive before 8 p.m. and will be re-screened by nursing staff the following morning. 

    Additionally, in the COVID Units

    • PAVs of COVID-positive patients must wear masks at all times when staff or providers are in the room. Visitation may be ended if masks are not worn.
    • While on the COVID Unit, PAVs who leave the hospital will be asked not to return until the following day. 
    • PAVs must stay in the patient's room.

    Visitation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

    • In the case of twins, 2 parents/guardians can be present in the NICU with each child, 2 at each bedside.
    • While the mother is in the hospital for post-partum care, she and another parent/guardian or designated support person may visit. However, visitation may be restricted to 1 person at the bedside depending on activity in the unit.
    • In case of mothers/parents with a C-section or other physical challenge, situation-specific exceptions may be made.

    Day of Surgery

    • 2 parents/caregivers are welcome to be with your child in the holding room before and the recovery room after surgery. These caregivers must:
      • Pass COVID symptom/exposure screening.
      • Wear masks at all times (and staff may end visitation if they are not wearing a mask).
      • Maintain social distancing (6 feet apart).
      • Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when entering or leaving the room.
    • If your child is admitted to the hospital, you will be asked to identify 2 parent-approved visitors who can be with the child.

    Pediatric outpatient clinics and doctor's offices

    • 2 visitors can be with the child in these settings. 

    Updated Oct. 14, 2021.

    • Patients may have 2 visitors in the facility at a time.
    • No visitors are allowed for patients with COVID-19.

    Updated Oct. 14, 2021.

    • No visitors are allowed for patients with COVID-19.
    • Patients admitted to the hospital (including labor and delivery) may have 2 visitors. These visitors can visit at the same time and should enter through the Emergency Department entrance.
    • Other patients may have 1 visitor. This includes patients in outpatient clinics, the emergency department and those surgery or other procedures.

    Updated April 12, 2021.

  • All visitors must remain with the patient at all times and follow guidance of a staff member or doctor.


    • 1 visitor can be with the patient
    • Visitors must remain with the patient or follow guidance of staff member or doctor

    Inpatient services (medical/surgical floors and ICU)

    • 1 visitor may be in a patient's room
    • Patients who are COVID positive or awaiting COVID test results may have 1 visitor outside of the room from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

    Emergency services

    • 1 visitor per patient age 18 and older
    • 2 parents/guardians with patients age 17 and younger
    • Visitors must remain with patient in the exam room at all times and follow guidance of staff member or doctor
    • No visitors with adult patients who are COVID positive or awaiting COVID test results.

    Outpatient services and clinics

    • 1 visitor per patient of all ages.
    • Visitors must remain with patient at all times and follow guidance of staff member or doctor

    Updated Oct. 14, 2021

    • 2 visitors allowed in a patient's room, including in the Critical Care Unit, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  
    • 1 visitor permitted in the patient's room overnight, after 9 p.m.
    • Up to 4 visitors allowed in the patient's room at end of life.
    • Only 1 visitor per patient allowed in the Emergency Department or outpatient clinics.
    • Birthing mothers may have 1 support person, who can remain overnight, and 1 visitor.
    • No visitors are allowed with patients who have COVID-19.

    Updated Oct. 14, 2021

  • Because of the special needs of pregnant and birthing mothers, there a few specific different steps we're taking for prenatal visits and labor and delivery at Vanderbilt Health and Vanderbilt Birth Center. Otherwise, the same policies apply as do for other patients.

    • Prenatal visits: We encourage telehealth prenatal appointments when possible. When an in-person appointment is required, one visitor may accompany the mother. Both must be screened before each visit. This is also true when you come to an ultrasound at a Vanderbilt location.

    Vanderbilt Birth Center (formerly Baby+Co) practices differ slightly:

    • Prenatal appointment policy can be found here.
    • Please speak with your birth center provider for guidance on masking and visitors during labor, overnight and mother-baby care.

    Updated October 14, 2021.

  • Patients may have 1 visitor with no age restrictions.

    While our inpatient visitation policy has changed, we have to limit visitors in our outpatient locations to keep people spaced at a safe distance while the coronavirus, including new more contagious forms, continues to spread in our community.